Apr 30 2013
By the end of this short article, perhaps you will agree with me that Bing Ads is no longer just a nice source of PPC traffic, but a necessary part of a well rounded paid search advertising campaign. Essentially, Bing Ads is a new platform with significant market share.
Brief progression of an Adwords contender…
- 2006 Microsoft adCenter is founded to develop and deliver its own pay-per-click ads, thus ending the need for sponsored ad providers (Yahoo) for its search engine
- 2006-2009 Microsoft acquires technology to build out its advertising platform
- 2010 Microsoft and Yahoo! Search work out a deal in which Microsoft takes over the functional operations of Yahoo! Search and all Yahoo! Sponsored ad clients are transitioned to Microsoft adCenter
- 2012 adCenter is renamed Bing Ads and instead of trying to be different, seeks to become more like Adwords in an effort to make it easy for Adwords users to engage with Bing Ads
- 2013 Microsoft decides to let Bing Ads users import their Adwords data directly into Bing Ads via Adwords API
- 2013 The FTC rules that Google is not acting like a monopoly, but as a sign of good faith, Google agrees to allow third party companies to access the Adwords API (because Microsoft has the means to challenge Google)
For those of you who are speed reading or didn’t get the magnitude of that brief progression:
Street Fight: Bing Ads is getting bigger, better and stronger
Of course this is great news for everyone involved in search marketing, except maybe Google, because it means search advertising is now a two horse race, both with deep pockets and both focused on the finish line.
Let me break it to you in a slightly different way for the analysts out there
AdGooroo conducted a study analyzing Bing Ads vs. Adwords and US advertisers in six verticals during Q3 2012: shopping and classified, financial services, travel, education, computer and internet, and business.
The study shows side-by-side comparisons of the two search engines for:
- Clickthrough Rate (CTR)
- Cost Per Click (CPC)
- Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM)
- And more
Here are some of the findings:
- Adwords did not have a significant lead in impressions, in fact, Bing Ads came out ahead in the financial services category
- Adwords won the clickthrough rate battle but there were pockets of advertisers who saw higher CTRs on Bing Ads
- Advertisers paid consistently more per click on Adwords than on Bing Ads, in some categories more than twice as much per click on Adwords (do you hear the knock, knock, knock of opportunity?)
According to the latest comScore reports for the US, Google’s search engine leads with about 2/3rd’s of the market share in search queries and Bing/Yahoo come in second with about 1/3rd of the market share.
For my speed readers, the point is:
Bing Ads is a value play right now
Let me break it down for ya 1 mo’ time… for the pragmatic peeps
It’s easy to import your campaigns from Google Adwords
Just login to your Bing Ads account, click the “Import from Google Adwords” button, enter your account details and walk through the tweaks. Your campaign will be up and running soon after you fund it.
There are a few things you’ll want to clean up after importing, such as the settings for each campaign which includes campaign budget, location targeting, targeting options and advanced settings, if applicable.
If you have questions or issues, the customer/tech support people are very helpful and sometimes seem to bend over backwards so that you get what you want out of your campaign on Bing Ads. They seem to be tasked with keeping up with open support tickets until closed out by the customer.
Adwords has amped up their support over the last year or so as well, but Bing Ads support is quite good.
Another surprise of the Bing Ads platform is the similarity to Adwords, even down to ad extensions. But, some of the notable differences include:
- Ads can be targeted by location, day of week or time of day, age and gender, device or any combination of these
- Budget can be allocated on a daily basis, like Adwords, or on a monthly basis
- Negative keywords does not mean the same thing as in Adwords – they must be specified as phrase or exact match since there is no broad match negative keywords for Bing Ads
- Quality score is determined slightly different for Bing Ads
Yes, there’s still a learning curve to using Bing Ads, but if you are used to Adwords, you’re already familiar with Bing Ads.
To help my speed readers go a tiny bit faster:
Bing Ads is push button easy if you’re using Adwords
If you are new to Bing Ads, it’s easy to get started with the QuickLaunch Program
This is a one-time service for first time Bing Ads advertisers who want help from an expert to setup the account, create the campaign and get it performing optimally.
If you need help managing your Bing Ads campaigns after completing the QuickLaunch Program or otherwise, work with a PPC manager – like us – to monitor your campaign’s keywords, ads, landing page copy, conversions, etc.
Now that you are convinced that Bing Ads is a contender to Adwords and cannot be ignored, where do you predict this two horse race will end up? Will Adwords CPC prices come down or will Bing Ads CPC prices go up to match those of Adwords, or something else?